Conditions for mining exploration work

Under the Mining Act, the Department sets the conditions and requirements governing exploration work before the start of fieldwork. The authorization to carry out work does not release the titleholder from any other legal obligation that may apply to the area.

The following terms and conditions must be met, namely:

  • for the Norebec-Manitou reserve
    • The titleholder shall ensure that all parts, goods, machinery and other equipment necessary to carry out mineral exploration shall not be stored near lands currently being rehabilitated or to be rehabilitated in the future, nor stored in such a way as to limit or restrict access to the reserve.
    • The titleholder shall be responsible for the compliance of sub-contractors with the conditions and requirements governing mineral exploration.
  • for the Lacs Guillaume-Delisle and à l’Eau Claire, Rivière Témiscamie, Monts Otish and Monts Puvirnituq reserves
    • No camp may be set up within the boundaries of land reserved to the State or within any adjacent territory where staking is not permitted.
    • No work may be carried out in the Rivière Témiscamie itself and within a strip of land 100 metres wide on either side of the river, with the exception of work required to pump water. Thus, if the distance between the drilling site and the water intake is greater than 200 metres, the titleholder may be authorized to pump water from the Rivière Témiscamie, provided authorization is granted by the Department, a high-protection lining is installed under the pump to prevent potential spills of petroleum products, and finally, environmental impact is minimized.
    • To the north of 55th parallel, all grid lines must be blazed ontrees. To the south of 55th parallel, cutting of trees which are less than 12 cm in diameter at chest height is prohibited for grid line marking. All grid line marking must result in cutting the smallest amount of trees possible, and should be carried out using tape or paint, especially in forested areas of low soil coverage or on steep slopes. If tree cutting becomes necessary, the cut line must not exceed one metre wide.
    • Outcrop stripping, trench digging, excavating, drilling and tree cutting must be limited to the minimum required to carry out the exploration activity. Single area affected by one or more of the above-mentioned activities must be less than five hectares. All activity areas must be located at least 25 metres from each other. Finally, the total cleared area resulting from such activities must not exceed 5% of the total land area covered by adjacent claims held by the same company. These cumulative restrictions; apply to all cleared land at once or successively over a period of six years from the date on which the land has been reserved to the State.
    • Land accessibility is only possible by air. If the construction of roads becomes necessary within the area concerned, a written authorization must be obtained following a study conducted by the Department.
    • During work performance, any tool, material, machinery, equipment and other accessories normally used may be stored on-site, providing fragile environments and high ecological value sites are avoided.
    • On the work site, scrap and other waste must be stored in accordance with the standards set in the Environment Quality Act. The waste must be stored, processed and eliminated at an authorized site outside the State reserved land.
    • If drilling work must be carried out into a watercourse or in its vicinity, all sediments, mud and waste must be deposited at least 30 metres from its natural high-water mark. Waste left on-site is prohibited once the work has been completed.
    • All excavated areas must be filled up once the activities have been completed.
    • All cleared land must be replanted using seedlings of the same species. Two years after, the holder of mining rights must verify, if the vegetation has grown back adequately.
    • Any planned work into a watercourse, lake, marsh, swamp, peat bog or pond must be authorized by the Ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement et des Parcs. In addition, it is mandatory to comply with the 20 metre buffer zone required by the Politique de protection des rives du littoral et des plaines inondables (protection policy for lakeshores, riverbanks, littoral zones and floodplains).
    • The holder of mining rights must provide the accommodation and transportation between the nearest airport and the site while inspections are being conducted by any ministry or agency’s representative, including the Ministère des Ressources naturelles et de la Faune, the Ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement et des Parcs and a representative of the Council of the Cree Nation of Mistissini for sites located along the Rivière Témiscamie. Three inspections are normally scheduled.
    • The holder of mining rights will be responsible for ensuring that all sub-contractors comply with the conditions and requirements governing the work execution.

Work assessment

The authorization to carry out mining exploration work on land reserved to the State will be granted for a maximum period of six years from the date on which the land is reserved to the State.

Before the expiry of the six-year period, the Department will perform an assessment of the land’s mineral potential. Following this assessment, the Department will determine if the land contains inferred mineral resources as defined by the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum . If this is the case, the holder of the mining rights will be authorized to continue his development work and the land concerned will be excluded from the land reserved to the State. On the contrary, where no mineral potential has been identified, all claims will be abandoned by the claim holder in accordance with the Mining Act, without any compensation from the State.

To allow the assessment’s completion and the determination of inferred mineral resources, the holder of the mining rights must forward a detailed report to the Department setting out the exploration work completed and the results obtained, at least 60 days before the State’s prerogative to reserve the land from mining activity expires.